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Ned Yost bans fraternizing on the basepaths because it angers Rex Hudler

Jul 30, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

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Maybe there’s more to this story than meets the eye, but what’s meeting the eye here seems pretty dumb: Royals announcer Rex Hudler has made it his personal mission to stop Royals players from being friendly with opposing players during games, so Ned Yost has put a stop to it.

I’m sure cause and effect will be denied by Yost if he’s asked, but the story about all of this from Jeffrey Flanagan of Fox Sports Kansas City lays it out thusly:

  • Royals infielders have been friendly with opposing baserunners, even after some big hits by the opposition.
  • Royals announcers Rex Hudler and Ryan Lefebvre have gone on-and-on about it on the air and on recent radio spots, saying it’s disrespectful and not old school and whatnot, and that Ned Yost should do something about it.
  • Ned Yost held a closed door meeting and has instructed his players to no longer fraternize with the opposition.

This despite the fact that Royals GM Dayton Moore said when asked about it all that he doesn’t think it’s a big deal.

This all seems so silly. Players on every team chat up players on the opposing teams. It’s a state of affairs that has existed for a long time. Probably longer than most of the old timers who claim that it was unheard of back in their day will admit.  Why this is bothersome to anyone now is a mystery.

What’s worse, though, is this bit from Hudler:

Hudler commented on Kansas City radio station WHB: “You can stand 10 feet away from a player and smooth out the dirt and still talk to a player without giving the appearance that you’re in his back pocket. When you’re in uniform out there, respect the game of baseball and respect your teammates. And stay out of the back pockets of opponents when people are watching. It makes me want to vomit.”

So it’s not that Hudler is opposed to players talking to one another. He’s just opposed to them looking like they are because “people are watching.” So who is it, exactly, that Hudler thinks the players should be deceiving?

Whatever the case, here’s a great tip to any major league organization: don’t let your broadcasters dictate team policy. You’re unlikely to get good results.

  1. mirmz - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Ladies and Gentlemen… The Wonder Dog!

  2. runyetirun - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    “don’t let your broadcasters dictate team policy”

    paging Rob Dibble, Pitching Injury Expert and Stuffs

    • Jason Chalifour - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      It worked wonders for the White Sox in the 80’s.

  3. sdelmonte - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    I hereby promise not to be friendly to any Royals players the next time I see them.

  4. Jason Chalifour - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Maybe the Royals think an “Old School” baseball policy like this will help them sign Cole Hammels in the offseason.

    • geoknows - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Um, did you just fall off the turnip truck? The Phillies resigned Hamels.

    • brohancruyff - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:50 PM

      IT’S COAL HAMMELS! Come on!

    • natslady - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      Colbert. Thass what we call him in Nats Town. Colbert…

      • yahmule - Jul 30, 2012 at 11:22 PM

        What about ex-Washington Padre Nate Colbert?

    • Jason Chalifour - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      That’s the point. We’re talking about the Royals, they fell off the tunip truck in the late 80’s.

      • mattryannolan - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        Lol good save idiot.

  5. - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    I want to say I didn’t think this organization couldn’t get any more weird. But, they’re the Royals, and they’ll do something to top this, just give them a few months.

  6. shawndc04 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

    Unless they’re setting the opponent up for something (pickoff/hidden ball trick, etc), I see no reason for them to converse on the field and, personally, it drives me crazy to see competitors laughing/joking/complimenting after they’ve tagged your pitcher. Heck, Bob Gibson wouldn’t even talk to his teammates on the all star teams.

    • The Common Man - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:53 PM


      • shawndc04 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Gibson? Because they were the enemy, and he would have to face them again even if they were on the same all star team.

      • The Common Man - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Sorry, I was unclear (and also, Gibson’s reputation is somewhat overblown), I meant why in the world would seeing ballplayers say hi to each other bother you even a little bit? Seems like a stupid thing to get mad about.

  7. notthesicko - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    The only reason why I doubt this to be true is that it implies that someone actually listened to Rex Hudler, and I don’t know how anyone could actually do that.

  8. groundruledoublebourbon - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Royals fan here. Talking with opposing players is not a big deal, a non-issue. But, there is something about being mired in a 6-21 slide in the last 27 games that makes Yuniesky’s giggle sessions with other players at second base a little… I dunno. I could see how chatting up opponents could turn off some fans when you suck and your teams sucks. That being said, I don’t care that Yuni talks with other players – what I DO care about, is that Yuni is on the field in the first place.

    Guarantee it wouldn’t be an issue if the Royals were within a country mile of contention. Or .500.

  9. klbader - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    I believe that this is a sign of the apocalypse. I believe somewhere in Revelations it says, “And lo, when the adviser to kings and monarchs is commanded by the loud but lowly dog, rejoice! for the son of man will soon return and the faithful shall be saved.”

    Not sure of the exact quote, but it’s in there somewhere.

  10. danaking - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Not old school? One of my favorite baseball stories tells of Pete Rose–whom I detest– talking to one of the Red Sox middle infielders (I forget which one) during a pitching change in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Paraphrasing:
    Rose: What a game.
    Sox infielder: Yeah.
    Rose: It’s an honor to be involved in a game like this.

    Ain’t no one more old school than Pete.

    Batters used to ask Yogi Berra to shut up, he talked so much it was a distraction. First basemen have chatted up baserunners for at least as long as I’ve been watching games, whihc is longer than Hudler has been watching them.

    Oh, right, but he played the game. That makes all the difference.

  11. snowbirdgothic - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    But cocaine in your carry-on bag is still totally cool, right, Rex?

    • scatterbrian - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:31 PM

      It was weed, not coke…which incidentally should help him with the nausea.

  12. dwrek5 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    People listen to Hudler/Lefebvre?

  13. eshine76 - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    So that explains why the Royals aren’t good… they are too friendly.

  14. - Jul 30, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    So, Frank White criticizes the team and gets fired. Hudler criticizes the team and the the Manager yells at the players about one of his pet peeves?

  15. zzalapski - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard…today.

  16. budselog - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    Rex is crazy, but I agree with him.

    Players need to be on the field to intimidate the other team or – like Rex said – make the fans believe that the players on THEIR team also hate the players on the other team.

    Haven’t these young ball players ever watched a good guy vs. bad guy movie? Get with the program Royals (and every other Major Leaguer that DOESN’T know how to do the Will Clark Game Face)!

  17. xpensivewinos - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Rex Hudler said it, so you know what to do…………..the exact opposite!

    Worst announcer ever, for anything.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      I don’t recall ever hearing Hudler, but I find it hard to believe he could be worse than Hawk Harrelson of the ChiSox who has his own page in the Guinness book of records for bad announcing.

  18. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Not totally relevant, but I love the stort of how Scott Hatterberg stopped at first base to chat up Mattingly insyead of legging out a double and Mattingly goes “Hey rookie, anyone show you where second base is?”

    Player chatter is a cool and harmless part of the game. This decision is just plain stupid.

  19. poprox13 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Rex Hudler is still announcing baseball games? Now I feel even more sorry for Royal’s fans.

  20. mvp43 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    If the Royals were winning this doesn’t even come up. I personally wouldn’t have legislated it, but from a fans perspective, no one wants to see the other team reach a base and your guy smiling and yuking up like its no big deal……….I get that.

    If I were Yost I would’ve just said something like “guys, we need to concentrate on winning ball games, not making dinner plans………keep your heads in the game”

  21. dowhatifeellike - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I don’t see what the big deal is. If the guy’s on base he already has his hit. Players may be on opposing teams but there’s a certain amount of fraternity amongst ballplayers. This isn’t the NFL where you stop the opposition by any means necessary – with few exceptions, baseball has always been a gentleman’s game. You play the game and if you get the guy out, you get him out, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a d*ck while you do it.

  22. gloccamorra - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    It may have angered not just Hudler, but Royals pitchers. Orlando Hudson was famous for glad-handing runners who had just teed off on Padres pitchers, and they weren’t happy about it. It’s just one of the reasons he was released. Compare that attitude to HOFers like Bob Gibson, who considered a baseball game to be war, and the other team the enemy.

    • The Common Man - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

      Yes, and the fact that Gibson’s always ther go to example simply underlines how extreme that viewpoint is. Who wants baseball to be a war? Hudson had lot more problems than fraternizing with the other team. The Twins couldn’t stand him in the clubhouse.

  23. wingsrule12 - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Okay so the Royals are letting Rex Hudler. The man who dropped his pants in the middle of a game, dictate policy No wonder they are a losing franchise

    • butchhuskey - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      That was actually Steve Lyons, not Rex Hudler

  24. Panda Claus - Jul 30, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    This can only go in one direction.

    Congratulations Rex, you’ll likely be named the Royals manager in 2013 because of this.

  25. crisisjunky - Jul 30, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Rex is still going strong to fulfill #1 on his bucket list:
    a year broadcasting in every MLB city he had a cuppa coffee…
    (and maybe a puff or two in the upstairs level of Hall’s parking garage on the Country Club Plaza.)

    Seriously Rex,” In their pockets”? Just curious, what do major leaguers carry in their back pockets these days? Paul Waner(or maybe it was Van Mungo) had to miss time slicing himself open while shattering his pint sliding into second. Now that’s Old School.

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